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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke

PART 3 - JESUS' MINISTRY IN GALILEE (Luke 4:14 - 9:50)

11. Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman (Luke 7:36-50)

LUKE 7:36-50
36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee’s house, and sat at the table. 37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” He said, “Teacher, say on.” 41 “A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they couldn’t pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?” 43 Simon answered, “He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most.” He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Jesus loved his enemies, and did not reject the invitation of the censorious proud Pharisee to eat with him, though he was aware that his party had evil intents against Jesus.

The host was probably looking forward to seeing a miracle done by Christ in his own house. May be he wanted to examine Jesus: who he was? Or meant to intervene between him and his fanatic society. Anyhow, this Pharisee did not treat Jesus as a friend, nor did he offer him water to wash his feet from the dust of the road. And when Jesus entered into his house, he did not kiss him as a righteous brother, nor did he anoint his head with perfumed oil to honor him as a respectable guest; but remained reticent with him as mediator between two parties.

When the guests sat down to eat, the Holy Spirit led an unclean sinful woman who was despised by the people of the town. This woman came into the house to get near to the Savior, for she had already heard his preaching, and received forgiveness of her sins by faith. Her heart overflowed with thankfulness and love, and she shed her tears ashamedly and repentantly on Jesus’ feet, then soon wiped his feet with her loosened hair and kissed them as a symbol of her worship to her Holy Lord. She also broke a bottle of perfume to make an offering of thankfulness and praise to God, for she knew who he was that has comforted her heart with his blessed gospel.

Then the householder, clean Simon became disturbed, when he saw how the unclean woman was allowed to touch his feet, supposing that he would become polluted by her touch, and would consequently fall from his divine communion. That was a Pharisaic examination of Jesus by Simon who thought within his heart that the Nazarene was not a prophet, since he did not realize the secrets of men’s hearts. But Christ read the proud man’s thoughts, and showed him how the Son of God could read all the thoughts of hearts, and hit them all with a piercing reply that condemns the proud and comforts the repentant.

Jesus led the Pharisee to judge himself, for the latter thought that his sins were little and he did not need a savior. Therefore he did not like Jesus. However, the great sinful woman whom Jesus released from the bonds of sin thanked the Lord with a true heart. Do you love Jesus? The extent of your love appears in your thankfulness for the forgiveness of your sins. Your heart is probably still hard, and you did not know yet that you are an invalid corrupt criminal.

Christ taught the professor to realize in the justified sinful woman the reason for true love. She received forgiveness of her sins not by a work of righteousness, which she had done, but contrarily according to her love for her Savior who delivered her from her malice.

It is not necessary to commit serious sins and then love God after having forgiven you them. You have rather to ask your Lord to open your eyes that you may know the thoughts of your heart, that you are adulterer, thief, self-conceited, disobedient, transgressor against God, and worthy of immediate destruction. We are all sinners of the race of dirty sin. Blessed are you if you accepted your justification in Christ, and became sanctified by your faith, loving Christ joyfully, and serving him gladly.

Jesus clearly taught the lawyers this principle of the Holy Spirit. The Son of God forgave the sins in case people returned to him moved by the power of his preaching. He could not say to the self-loving professor, “Your sins are forgiven you”, for he did not repent. But he gave the repentant sinful woman the fullness of salvation freely, for her faith saved her. Jesus confirmed her faith and her preference over the unrepentant householder. And she went back joyfully justified, whereas the self-conceited professor was enraged, and remained deprived of God’s comfort. Where do you stand with regard to knowing Christ’s salvation? Do you thank him for forgiving your sins? What do you do to show your love for him?

PRAYER: O Lord, you are love. You do not despise me, but raise me up to you. I am ashamed of my sins. Please forgive my sins, set me free make me holy, so that I may tell others of your salvation, bow before you at your coming. You, alone, are my Lord and my God.

QUESTION 60: Why did Christ say to the woman who loved much, “Your faith has saved you”?


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